How to cut


Cooking Times
Chicken Parts
How to cut


Buying a whole bird is the most cost-effective way to purchase a chicken. Markets often run specials on whole chickens, so cutting them up yourself can mean real savings.  

Cutting a Whole Chicken
Step 1 Graphic STEP 1
Place chicken, breast side up, on cutting board. Cut skin between thighs and body.
Step 2 Graphic STEP 2
Grasping one leg in each hand, lift chicken and bend back legs until bones break at hip joints.
Step 3 Graphic STEP 3
Remove leg-thigh from body by cutting (from tail toward shoulder) between the joints, close to bones in back of bird. Repeat other side.
Step 4 Graphic STEP 4
To separate thighs and drumsticks, locate knee joint by bending thigh and leg together. With skin side down, cut through joints of each leg.
Step 5 Graphic STEP 5
With chicken on back, remove wings by cutting inside of wing just over joint. Pull wing away from body and cut from top down, through joint.
Step 6 Graphic STEP 6
Separate breast and back by placing chicken on neck-end or back and cutting (toward board) through joints along each side of rib cage.
Step 7 Graphic STEP 7
Breast may be left whole or, to cut into halves, place skin side down on board and cut wishbone in two at V of bone.

Cutting Wings into Drummettes
Step 1 Graphic STEP 1
With skin side down, flatten wing on cutting board with wingtip on left and thicker (drummette) portion on right.
Step 2 Graphic STEP 2
Cut through joint, leaving as much skin as possible on drummette.


Boning a Whole Chicken Breast
Step 1 Graphic STEP 1
Place skin-side down on cutting board with widest part nearest you. With point of knife, cut through white cartilage at neck end of keel bone.
Step 2 STEP 2
Pick up breast and bend back, exposing keel bone.
Step 3 STEP 3
Loosen meat from bone by running thumbs around both sides; pull out bone and cartilage.
Step 4 STEP 4
Working with one side of breast, insert tip of knife under long rib bone inside thin membrane and cut or pull meat from rib cage. Turn breast and repeat with other side.
Step 5 STEP 5
Working from ends of wishbone, scrape all flesh away and cut bone from meat. (If white tendons remain on either side of breast, loosen with knife and pull out.)


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This site was last updated 10/17/05

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